During the caliphate of Uthman, there was a need to do more to protect the Holy Quran. By that time, many lands had been conquered and non-Arab nations had become Muslims, and there was a lack of teachers to teach people from the Quran and for a number of other reasons, a disagreement arose in reciting the Quran.
This great danger related to the protection of the Holy Quran was first understood by Companion Hudhayfah ibn Yaman, in the fath of Azerbaijan. He left the battle and returned to Madina Munawwara on foot and went up to Khaleefah Uthman and said: 'Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before'. There was a debate and controversy again. Whatever happened, it was for the protection of the Holy Quran. It was decided at the end to copy some sheets of the mus'haf of Abu Bakr's time and send them to various centers with a single qari for each.
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to `Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were Waging war to conquer Armenia and Azerbaijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Quran, so he said to Uthman, "O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Qur'an) as Jews and the Christians did before." So Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, "Send us the manuscripts of the Quran so that we may compile the Quranic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you." Hafsa sent it to Uthman. Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, Abdullah bin AzZubair, Sa`id bin Al-As and AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, "In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Quran, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Quran was revealed in their tongue." They did so, and when they had written many copies, Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Quranic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt.
Zaid bin Thabit added, "A verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Quran and I used to hear Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was):
'Of the believers are men who are true to what they pledged to Allah.' (Verse 23)
A lot of conclusions come from this narration.
Huzayfa ibn Yaman radhiallahu anhu came up with the idea of eliminating the contradictions among Muslims about the recitation of the Holy Koran, and taking steps to prevent any further differences. According to other narrations, this opinion was shared by others, including Hazrat Uthman radhiallahu anhu. However, it was Khuzayfa ibn Yaman radhiyallahu anhu that made the case happen.
It was not only Hudhayfah ibn Yaman who was worried about the difference in the recitation of the Quran but there was a great deal of controversy and the hearts of the great Companions were troubled.
In particular, as people moved away from the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, this became evident. When this news reached Uthman radhiallahu anhu, he was alarmed. He thought he had to find a way out before the situation got worse.